Volume 2, Chapter 13: Inner Palace Once More

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(I thought I wouldn’t fit in before.)

Apparently not, surprisingly, Maomao thought.

She enjoyed the lifestyle of the inner palace after a long time.

Thought it might have been that she was brought up in a place full of women that she could easily adapt to this sort of atmosphere.

Just like before, she spent every day tasting food, compounding and taking strolls.

Consort Gyokuyou’s pregnancy still wasn’t confirmed.
It was the same when she was pregnant with Imperial Princess Rinrii. Apparently, she didn’t have terrible morning sickness and her sense of taste didn’t change much. Aside from her irregular menstruation, there wasn’t much positive proof.

Nevertheless, as a worse case counter-plan, a gag order was imposed at the Jade Palace.
This is clearly the apt time for people who would be inconvenienced by Consort Gyokuyou’s pregnancy to target her. They wouldn’t resist even serving her poison.

The emperor – the lusty old man – decided to refrain from nightly intimacy for caution’s sake.
There’s no problems if they carried it out normally, but if Consort Gyokuyou put the consort training into practice, deviating from the normal category, well, you can’t deny the possibility of several problems occurring.

(Should I have taught something a little gentler?)

No, but then Consort Gyokuyou and the emperor wouldn’t be satisfied. Subsequently, Consort Riishu was frightened off, and Maomao was treated more like a monster by Consort Rifa’s maids.

As it was hard for her to speak of this sort of matter to the emperor herself, she got Jinshi to relay it to him. It was reserving to say it directly from the mouth of a maidservant.

She didn’t want to number of visits to Consort Gyokuyou to decrease if possible, but she couldn’t suggest that much. The emperor didn’t have only one consort.

There will be people who would be suspicious if the amount of sleeping suddenly decreased though.

Surprisingly yet, the times the emperor visited didn’t decrease. He played with his cute daughter and took pleasure in silly conversations with Consort Gyokuyou.
She had thought with Consort Ah Duo’s case too, but it might be that they didn’t try lay down their feelings with the lusty old man.

Otherwise, it could be that the emperor was thinking like an emperor. The current emperor was said to be a wise emperor. Of course, it could be precisely because the previous emperor was said to be a foolish emperor that he was perceived this way, but Maomao didn’t think he would be as far as a foolish emperor.

(I’m fine with either way though.)

The point was that she was glad to be provided a livelihood where the earning tax wasn’t too high. A foolish emperor believes his people to be infinite, a wise emperor knows that his people are finite. At the very least, this emperor is the latter.

It was just that he makes a slightly lonely expression from time to time, so she decided to pass over the materials she had left from the consort training. It could act as a time waster.
She had brought over several volumes in preparation, but unfortunately, there were no maids who wanted it.
It goes without saying what kind of teaching materials they were.

(Bear with 2D for me.)

Though secretively she left it in a place within his eye-shot, it seems he noticed.

When she was ordered to prepare something different in a later date, she was convinced that the lusty old man really was fine the way he is.

At the inner palace, gossips are spreading, believed to be caused by the repetitive monotonous days that had a chronic shortage of the opposite gender as usual.

And it was so, the maids, who are currently taking a rest from work, are chatting in the kitchen. The tea cakes they had today that were leftovers from the tea party was dragon beard candy. It was a candy that was shaped like a cocoon made of fine threads; when you put in your mouth you will be moved to the point of tears. It had a slightly sweet aroma; it seemed to be mixed with tea leaves.

“And that’s why it’s impossible. That outfit.” It was Infa, one of the maids of the Jade Palace, who was mumbling with her mouth crammed with candy. This strong-willed girl spoke whatever came to mind.

“You have a point. But the outfit from that time might be good. Aren’t barbarian robes cool?” Speaking with a gentle tone was Guien. Her plump cheeks were eased with happiness from tasting the candy.

“That kind of robes depends on the person who wears it. It’s not that she didn’t suit it.” Airan was the one with the tall and slender figure. She was just sipping tea, not picking up the sweet things.

Infa looked as though she was betrayed by her two friends, and eyed Maomao who was left.

What a pain. While Maomao thought that, she nodded, “Yes, okay.” However, her sociability ended here.
Infa, who had anticipated reinforcements, puffed out her cheeks.

“Mmm, for that sort of thing, Consort Ah Dou was cooler.” Infa sipped her tea as she sulked.

Seeing that appearance, Guien and Airan exchanged glances and grinned.

“Oh my, Infa. Were you actually in Ah Duo-sama’s faction?”

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“T-that’s not true!” Infa got flustered at Guien’s words.

Airen instantly flashed an evil grin. “No need to hide it. Our master may be Gyokuyou-sama, but I think that sort of feeling is good to have.”

“Like I said, that’s not true–”

Listening to the three girls who were chatting up a storm as usual, Maomao drank up her tea with a sigh. The cotton candy was slightly on the sweet side for Maomao who was fond of alcohol. I feel like some salty rice crackers to get rid of the bad taste, she thought.

The subject of what Infa and the others were talking about was this. The Consort Rouran who had newly entered. As this consort was slightly eccentric, there seemed to be a lot to talk about her.

As for what, it was her outfits.

The atmosphere of her outfits changes completely with every little thing. There was one time where she wore a western dress, and there was another time where she was clad in an outfit that looked like the horseman of a foreign tribe.

(What can I say about that?)

Perhaps she was rolling in money. Just to change outfits every time, the palace will become just a wardrobe.

Because of that, the Pomegranate Palace that was once pure bearing was already replaced to the point of having no traces of it left. It was a force that tried to wipe away Ah Duo who once lived there.

In a sense, true, in a sense, wrong.
The inner palace was a world that stands out in the crowd. At the same time, it is also a world that hammers down the nails that stick out. Originally, Consort Rouran was supposed to be hammered in, but as her father was a senior statesman who stood high in favour and trust since the era of the previous emperor, the present situation was that there wasn’t a hammer to nail her down.

(I see how it is huh)

With that being the case, there was more than enough reason to drive Ah Duo out. Rather, it might have been better to wait if you take Consort Rouran’s age into consideration.

Maomao suddenly thought.

Honestly, even for the emperor, wouldn’t it be more convenient for him in various ways to allow Ah Dou to stay in the inner palace?
Since she won’t become the empress dowager, her eyes can anticipate directly ahead. Her wisdom was as if she was a man.

The reassuring Ah Duo was gone even as an advisor, and having a girl who is likely to influence not just the inner palace but even the imperial court enter court in exchange – even if she is a heavenly person – would be a talk of concern.
He cannot flat out refuse her. And it would also be troubling if they become over affectionate and make a child nevertheless. The time a consort’s backing shield is reliable is only in the unreliable era of the crown prince. She could become useless as soon as he becomes emperor and a child is made after all.

Well well, what would be done?

As that sort of wild idea came to mind, Maomao poured herself some tea from a small teapot.

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